The sun is probably always shining in your cruise vacation dreams; but, the reality is that it can, and sometimes does, rain on a cruise. In fact, a severe storm can actually change the course of a cruise.
A few passing showers are little cause for concern, and there are plenty of things to do inside until the rain stops. A storm, squall, or hurricane is a different matter.
If your ship is in danger of encountering seriously bad weather, here’s what you can expect to happen:
The captain will change course.
[su_note note_color=”#afd1e2″]This is a great thing about cruise vacations: when a storm passes over a resort hotel, there’s not much the staff can do about it, but a cruise ship can move.[/su_note]
Cruise ships rarely sail into big storms, because sophisticated weather-tracking equipment enables the captain and crew to avoid them. It might not be possible to stay out of rough water completely, and ships are well-stocked with seasickness remedies for just those situations. But, be assured that the captain will get to calmer water as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, avoiding stormy weather or other dangerous conditions – such as wind or fog – might mean that your cruise ship will have to sail into a port later or leave earlier than planned; visit ports in a different order than on the original itinerary; or even miss a port altogether.
The captain will skip a port only when absolutely necessary.
Please know that if the captain decides to skip a port, it’s to keep you, your fellow passengers, the crew and the ship safe. It’s not because the captain or crew is lazy, inexperienced, or determined to ruin your cruise.
When a ship has to skip a port, the first alternative is to visit a substitute port. If that’s not possible, you might spend an extra day at sea.
Expect compensation only in extreme situations.
You should not expect any compensation for a storm-related itinerary change: when the change is weather-related, the cruise line is not obligated to provide a refund. However, if the captain isn’t able to substitute an alternate port, the cruise line will return your port charges for the missed port, usually in the form on an onboard credit.
Compensation becomes much more likely if a storm causes a major disruption to or cancellation of your cruise: thankfully, that’s an unusual occurrence. The amount of compensation depends on the policies of your cruise line and on the magnitude of the disruption. Cruise Specialists can help you understand the specifics and ensure you receive all the compensation you’re entitled to.
When it’s not nice on deck, explore the interior of the ship.
On rainy days, the crew often compensates by opening more venues for dining, entertainment and relaxation. Here are some suggestions for things to do:
- If your ship has an indoor pool, join in the pool games.
- Visit the spa and salon for some luxurious treatments.
- Take in a movie or afternoon performance in one of the theaters.
- Work out or take a class in the fitness center.
- Visit the onboard shops: they might be running some “rainy day” specials.
- Check the ship’s daily bulletin for pub quiz games, bingo and card games, lectures, cooking demonstrations or karaoke contests (even if you don’t want to participate, it’s fun to watch).
- Find a good book in the ship’s library, which probably has a nice selection of board games, too.
The fun that you can have on board may not make up for the disappointment of missing a port you’ve been looking forward to, but it can help. Plus, you’ll stay safe and in great shape to enjoy the rest of your cruise.